Monday, April 11, 2016

I Knew Emma Was There

I already knew where my Big Paw Paw's mother was.

Luckily, the Galveston County Genealogical Society had transcribed Lakeview Cemetery's records in 1992 and according to the transcriptions, Big Paw Paw's great grandparents — John and Emma (Schleicher) Marschall — were buried in Block #22, lot # E1/2 of 1. However, their grave numbers are blank. [1]

And when I went looking for them back in March of 2008, they weren't in the section they should be in.

Then Hurricane Ike hit in September of 2008, [2] and I attempted to look for them again in August of 2009 with no luck. [3]

Lakeview Cemetery is a very neglected private cemetery though it still has interments. As blog reader and fellow graver, J. Edward Stark, once commented on my (old) tombstone blog:

"There doesn't seem to be any order or layout to the place, almost as if someone threw a handful of seeds to the wind and tombstones sprung up in whichever direction or angle they landed in." [4]

And he's right.

I've been back a time or two looking for them but after that I'd always been with my family who had become wise to my cemetery and tombstone shenanigans.

(Especially after on the way to Iowa to a Pointer family reunion no one wanted to attend except the only person in the car who hadn't been born a Pointer (me), I may have tricked them into stopping at this old cemetery that was ... ohmigosh what a coincidence ... right off of I-35 in Cameron, Clinton County, Missouri, where my great grandparent's were buried. Good thing this non-Pointer Pointer did that because we haven't been back to a Pointer family reunion since. And then there was that time in San Antonio looking for Daniel and Annie and it was 97 degrees out... Okay. So judge me.)

And I'd been on the island a few times for client work, but not to Lakeview Cemetery.

Then my daughter started attending Texas A&M University at Galveston located on Pelican Island just off of Galveston Island. However, I kept arranging times to go visit on the weekends with family in tow. Who, after grocery shopping at Krogers for my daughter, I might have directed to drive a back way from the Kroger to the dorm knowing that Lakeview Cemetery was behind it. And I might have pointed out to them, "Oh look. There's Lakeview Cemetery where John and Emma are. Somewhere. In there." And they'd not reply but I could feel their nervousness, and their brains were super loud as they wondered if I was going to make them stop and walk the whole cemetery like in Missouri. And in San Antonio. I didn't. But I felt the power I had in that moment and I liked it. (So, judge me.)

Then I noticed a few months ago on Find A Grave that Emma's tombstone had been found and photographed a couple of years ago! [5] I just hadn't checked back. Clearly her tombstone was broken and laying across the foundation in that photograph and it looks like it had been in the ground just a bit on the bottom right hand side. And I decided I'd put her off long enough. It was time to find Emma for myself. And possibly John.

So a few weeks ago, I left for the island to find them and take my daughter to dinner. Unfortunately, I picked a week where it had rained on the island and the cemetery was mostly under water especially the ruts in the ground that meander through the cemetery and act as the "roads" inside of the cemetery. However, I drove around the perimeter of the cemetery noting the pockets of older tombstones that are, as Stark so accurately described, "scattered" every which way throughout the cemetery. [6] I also noticed the signs that marked the different sections were gone.

I did walk the east side of the cemetery which was a bit drier and where John and Emma should have been, but still didn't locate them.

Last Friday, I went back. The skies were blue. It was about 73 degrees with a nice gulf breeze.

And the ground was dry. I had decided to start on the west part of the cemetery where last time I had noted some bigger pockets of older tombstones. I stopped the car every so often to get out and look at the older tombstones.

I uncovered so many stones. And stories...a man who had been born in London, England, whose tombstone was covered with dried grass clippings and two overgrown lilies which were now bushes. (Luckily, there were no snakes in there. *shudder*)

A Scot born in 1818 whose tombstone was along the crumbling back wall.

Eight small tombstones with only last names whose stories were cut short.

All the while, I kept an eye out for a white tombstone with a not-too-sharp point at the top, almost rounded, with no notches on the top corners.

I was worried that since it was broken in the image on Find A Grave that perhaps it might be lost, misplaced, or stolen.

I turned away from the too-small tombstones in the middle of the cemetery back towards the west and spotted a small white tombstone with a not-too-pointed, almost rounded top with no notches on the top corners and it was poking out of the ground.

Was this Emma?

As I got closer, I noticed it was buried in the ground behind its foundation and dried grass clippings were trapped in the space between it and the foundation.

Emma Schleicher Marschall's tombstone,
Lakeview Cemetery, Galveston, Texas.

I quickly cleaned the clippings away and pulled the weeds surrounding it, and...there was Emma!

A quick survey all around her only yielded empty spaces where her husband, the Prussian immigrant who first landed in Galveston on Christmas Day in 1878, is supposed to be, but there are no tombstones. [7] Just empty spots.

Emma Schleicher Marschall's tombstone,
Lakeview Cemetery, Galveston, Texas.

Gee, I hope no new tombstones appear there in the future.

For John is there. Somewhere.

I just know it.


1. Linda Ludgate McBee, Lakeview Cemetery Record, Galveston, Texas, Volume III, 1917-1929, (Galveston: Galveston County Genealogical Society, 1992), not paginated but listed alphabetically by surname.
2. Caroline M. Pointer, Disasters: Not Today, ( : accessed 11 April 2016).
3. Caroline M. Pointer, Tombstone Tuesday: Hanging Out, ( : accessed 11 April 2016).
4. ibid., "J Edward Stark," comment made August 19, 2009.
5. Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 11 April 2016, memorial page for Emma Marschall (1856-1928), Find A Grave memorial no. 132,156,623, citing Lakeview Cemetery, Galveston, Galveston County, Texas; the accompanying photograph by Floyd Lanny Martin is clear and informative providing enough data to ascertain this is the correct Emma Marschall.
6. Caroline M. Pointer, Tombstone Tuesday: Hanging Out, ( : accessed 11 April 2016), "J Edward Stark," comment made August 19, 2009.
7. Galveston County, Texas, Index to Naturalization Docket, 1860-1890; Declaration of Intentions, Vol. 1; 1860-1871; Vol. 2, 1871-1879, Vol. 3, 1880-1892, unpaginated, chronologically arranged, 4 Oct 1880, "John Marschall;" Texas State Library and Archives, Austin; TSLAC microfilm no. 1009834, vol. 3, p. 15.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Auntie Alice Is My New BFF

I love being the recipient of clues from my ancestors. I mean, sometimes, it's like they left them on purpose. Like they were actually writing to me.

But? My 2nd great grandfather's younger sister, Alice Barbara (Vaughan) Parson's notes weren't really meant for me. {Okay. Maybe they were. You don't know. ;) }And it appears that she was probably addressing one of Daniel's and Annie's children. And I'm gonna guess that it was my 1st great grandmother, my Boo {also named Alice} because she ends up with these photos {but it could have been one of their other children and somehow my Boo ended up with them}.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, there is writing on the photos that is different than Alice's, and because of a note that was with these photos, it's pretty clear that it was Daniel and Annie's daughter, Alice Florence (Vaughan) Truitt {the aforementioned "my Boo"}, who had been trying to identify the photos for her son {my Uncle} to whom she was giving the photos.

So, both these wonderful ladies named Alice wrote on the photos helping to identify the people in the photos to whom they were giving the photos. Makes sense.

But? The first Alice is the one who gives the most clues. And my Boo {second Alice} gets confused on the identification of one of the photos. I would imagine she was quite elderly when she passed these photos on to my Uncle, and her memory might have been a bit less than perfect. Anywho, I'm over the moon they decided to identify everyone.

So, what are the clues the first Alice left?

Remember how I said that I'd been unable to find Daniel's sister, Alice, between 1850 and 1872? Daniel and Prudence had been taken into families after Susanna's death, but I'd been unable to figure out what had happened to their younger sister, Alice. Well, Alice, herself, left me a clue. Maybe. {I love how these dead folk toy with me. They are definitely the cat, and I am gleefully their mouse being batted around.}

Sarah Ann Cordelia (Vaughan) Allison
Sarah Ann Cordelia (Vaughan) Allison, a.k.a., Auntie Sarah

Sarah Ann Cordelia (Vaughan) Allison
Back of Sarah's photo.

First? I love the fact that Alice called her aunt, "Auntie." That is too cute. But? Aunt or "Auntie" Sarah's middle name wasn't Allison. Now, Benjamin's father, John T., and his mother, Prudence {Brown} had had 5 kids up in Canada and then his dad and his stepmother {Hester Hawkins} had had 5 maybe 6 kiddos, both in Canada and in Michigan. I say "maybe 6" because it's totally possible that little Rachel Roselia Vaughan may not be Benjamin's and Susanna's, but John's and Hester's {or even another Vaughan's child there in Ypsilanti}. I mean, anything is possible. And more than a few died as children. Out of the living siblings -- both full and half -- Benjamin only had one sister named Sarah. So I quickly had a look-see on and found that his sister, Sarah Ann Cordelia, married...

...wait for it...

...a William Allison, which explains definitively, I think, who Alice called "Auntie Sarah." Alice states that, " they looked when I first met them after my coming from Yo[u]rk state, Rochester..."

Oh, Alice, you're beginning to be my BFF. Now, she could be referring to a trip of a shorter duration that she took, but it's also ENTIRELY possible that she's talking about where she had been in her younger years. I mean, Ypsilanti is a wee town then and now. If she had grown up near there, it's likely that she would have already known what her family members looked like. Possibly. 

On Alice's own photo {below} she states the photo was taken when she was 18 years old in Ypsilanti. Also, who makes up the "they" on Auntie Sarah's photo? Could she mean these set of photos together below? I dunno. But IF so {and that's a big IF}, then is she saying she'd never met her father?!? Something to mull over {Read: Obsess over.}, for sure. 

What is also interesting is that Alice's mother, Susanna, and Susanna's siblings were supposedly born in New York. And while Susanna's father, Mr. Rook, likes to play hide-n-seek too, her mother, Margaret Barbara (Stuck) Rook and the Stuck family had lived in Seneca, County, New York for a while before going to Michigan. So. Curiouser and curiouser. {Yeah, I went there.}

BTW, the Stuck/Stock line is the Patriot line that I'll be using for my DAR application. Technically, all the proving is done as far as DAR is concerned from the proven Patriot down to Margaret's father. I just need to provide evidence her father was that man, Michael Stuck. {Luckily, her death record says he is, but what else could I find to support that?} But? Because Susanna and her siblings were born in New York and Mr. Rook and Margaret Barbara were their parents, I have to dig around in New York anyways for their marriage and his identity. And I find it more than interesting that Alice Barbara may have lived and been raised near {couple of counties away} where her maternal grandparent's family had lived and in the same state her mother was born. At the very least, according to Alice, she had been there. And that's a very nice clue, Alice. *high-five* {Ah, hell. That's a *double high five*. Put them both up there, Alice.}

Alice Barbara (Vaughan) Parsons at 18yo
Alice Barbara (Vaughan) Parsons

Alice Barbara (Vaughan) Parsons at 18yo
Back of Alice Barbara (Vaughan) Parson's Photo

SO Alice is 18 years old when this photo was taken in Ypsilanti, Michigan. And at the top my Boo identified this photo and my uncle's relationship to her as Alice being his 2nd great Aunt Alice. {Me? I would've called her "Auntie." ;) }
Benjamin Brown Vaughan, some time after 1852
Benjamin Brown Vaughan

Benjamin Brown Vaughan, some time after 1852
Back of Benjamin's photo.
Well, the handwriting on the top is my Boo's, the second Alice. She identifies him to my Uncle as his "great great grandfather." The first Alice, Daniel's sister indicates that Benjamin is her and Daniel's father, and here's the clue. She infers that this photo of him was "Some years after our mother died." She also points out that Benjamin is "Aunt Sarah['s] Brother."

So Alice is saying this photo of Benjamin was taken after their mother, Susanna, died.

Well, knock me over with a feather. If this is correct {Don't look at me like that. Alice lived to be 94. No telling when she wrote this and if her recollections were correct. And I'm pretty sure both Alices will give me a stern talking-to in the After Life about how I dared to question them, but, really, who cares by then? :P }, then Benjamin WAS alive when their mother died in 1852.

Not that I needed any more reason to keep looking for Benjamin, because I didn't. I have a list of records to order and search in -- like probate, orphan, land, newspapers, etc. I'm also waiting on Daniel's Civil War pension record.

But, it's nice to have this clue. If correct, then where was Benjamin and why was he not raising his own children? Not uncommon, but still. And when and where did he die? I want the latter question answered for me and my DAR {Daughters of the American Revolution} and UEL {United Empire Loyalist} applications. The former? I need to know that answer with every fiber of my being.

I'm passionate {Read: tenacious.} like that.

And then I'll be checking Rochester, New York, for the young Alice Barbara Vaughan. I don't necessarily need the knowledge for any applications. Unless, of course, she was living with a -- *clears throat* -- Rook family. {Could I get that lucky?} But her early life is a rabbit hole I can't help but dive into. {Yeah, I went there. Again.} I mean, she went to all that trouble of leaving me the clue. The least I could do is follow up on it, eh? Besides, I might find more family members. And you know what they're gonna have, don't you?

That's right. Family stories. Duh.

Many, many thanks to my first cousins who found me on Facebook and shared these photos with me. Together and with my other second cousins who have found me via my blog, we're pulling this story together one puzzle piece at a time. It takes a village to write a family history.



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